Following on from my last economics blog about International organisations affecting trade, I thought it would be good to continue to look at trade and globalisation. This week we look at trade agreements and blocs that Australia is involved in. These are useful for your Topic 1 essays and really show the markers that you understand the real life application of what trade agreements involve, rather than just the theory.

From the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Office:

“Across the globe, there is an expanding network of free trade agreements (FTAs). High-quality, comprehensive free trade agreements can play an important role in supporting global trade liberalisation and are explicitly allowed for under the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

FTAs can cover entire regions with multiple participants or link just two economies. Under these agreements, parties enter into legally binding commitments to liberalise access to each others’ markets for goods and services, and investment. FTAs also typically address a range of other issues such as intellectual property rights, government procurement and competition policy.”

Significant trade agreements that Australia is in:

1. ASEAN- Australian-New Zealand FTA

The Agreement Establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) is Australia’s most ambitious trade deal to date. The countries of ASEAN – Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – constitute one of the most dynamic economic regions in the world.

AANZFTA is Australia’s first multi-country FTA. It is the first time Australia and New Zealand have been involved jointly in negotiating an FTA with third countries. It is the first time ASEAN has embarked on FTA negotiations covering all sectors including goods, services, investment and intellectual property simultaneously. This makes it the most comprehensive trade agreement that ASEAN has ever negotiated.

2. Australian-United States FTA

The Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) is a long-term commitment and framework to strengthen trade relations and economic integration with the United States across all sectors of the economic relationship.It significantly improves Australia’s attractiveness as a destination for US investment.

3. Trans-Pacific Partnership
The TPP is still in negotiation yet is being marked as an unprecedented free trade agreement involving seven Pacific-rimming countries to establish a new trade region-based agreement. It is aimed at uniting the Asia-Pacific region into an era of free trade in a shift away from the power centre of the Asia to a bigger regional trade bloc.

If you want more information on these, or any other of Australia’s FTA’s then check out the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Office here.

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